Reader CasEjonz, reacting to Hal Bodley’s “Roberto Alomar is no first ballot Hall of Famer” rebop, notes that the writers are way worse when it comes to this stuff than even I suggested. Take the complete lack of unanimous Hall of Fame votes:
To this point, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan are the closest to 100% at 98.8%. The fact that some voters can not see an obviously worthy player, makes
the notion of even “first ballot” distinction moot. If they cant get
the obvious, then how much merit can we put behind their selections
whether it is a first timer or a fifteenth timer. I can’t wait for
those same writers to argue why Ken Griffey Jr and Derek Jeter aren’t
worthy of an automatic vote, but will argue for some fringe guy that
they got a Christmas card from.
Excellent point. Willie Freakin’ Mays was not a unanimous vote. Mickey Freakin’ Mantle was not a unanimous vote. A voter’s discretion is a wonderful thing and I’d be loathe to mess with it, but if you have guys like that staring at you on the ballot and you can’t pull the lever, you’ve forfeited the franchise, my friend.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.